Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Hardin Aasand
Peer Reviewed

The Winter's Tale (Folio 1, 1623)

300The Winters Tale.
(So sacred as it is) I haue done sinne,
For which, the Heauens (taking angry note)
2935Haue left me Issue-lesse: and your Father's bless'd
(As he from Heauen merits it) with you,
Worthy his goodnesse. What might I haue been,
Might I a Sonne and Daughter now haue look'd on,
Such goodly things as you?
2940Enter a Lord.
Lord. Most Noble Sir,
That which I shall report, will beare no credit,
Were not the proofe so nigh. Please you (great Sir)
Bohemia greets you from himselfe, by me:
2945Desires you to attach his Sonne, who ha's
(His Dignitie, and Dutie both cast off)
Fled from his Father, from his Hopes, and with
A Shepheards Daughter.
Leo. Where's Bohemia? speake:
2950Lord. Here, in your Citie: I now came from him.
I speake amazedly, and it becomes
My meruaile, and my Message. To your Court
Whiles he was hastning (in the Chase, it seemes,
Of this faire Couple) meetes he on the way
2955The Father of this seeming Lady, and
Her Brother, hauing both their Countrey quitted,
With this young Prince.
Flo. Camillo ha's betray'd me;
Whose honor, and whose honestie till now,
2960Endur'd all Weathers.
Lord. Lay't so to his charge:
He's with the King your Father.
Leo. Who? Camillo?
Lord. Camillo (Sir:) I spake with him: who now
2965Ha's these poore men in question. Neuer saw I
Wretches so quake: they kneele, they kisse the Earth;
Forsweare themselues as often as they speake:
Bohemia stops his eares, and threatens them
With diuers deaths, in death.
2970Perd. Oh my poore Father:
The Heauen sets Spyes vpon vs, will not haue
Our Contract celebrated.
Leo. You are marryed?
Flo. We are not (Sir) nor are we like to be:
2975The Starres (I see) will kisse the Valleyes first:
The oddes for high and low's alike.
Leo. My Lord,
Is this the Daughter of a King?
Flo. She is,
2980When once she is my Wife.
Leo. That once (I see) by your good Fathers speed,
Will come-on very slowly. I am sorry
(Most sorry) you haue broken from his liking,
Where you were ty'd in dutie: and as sorry,
2985Your Choice is not so rich in Worth, as Beautie,
That you might well enioy her.
Flo. Deare, looke vp:
Though Fortune, visible an Enemie,
Should chase vs, with my Father; powre no iot
2990Hath she to change our Loues. Beseech you (Sir)
Remember, since you ow'd no more to Time
Then I doe now: with thought of such Affections,
Step forth mine Aduocate: at your request,
My Father will graunt precious things, as Trifles.
2995Leo. Would he doe so, I'ld beg your precious Mistris,
Which he counts but a Trifle.
Paul. Sir (my Liege)
Your eye hath too much youth in't: not a moneth
'Fore your Queene dy'd, she was more worth such gazes,
3000Then what you looke on now.
Leo. I thought of her,
Euen in these Lookes I made. But your Petition
Is yet vn-answer'd: I will to your Father:
Your Honor not o're-throwne by your desires,
3005I am friend to them, and you: Vpon which Errand
I now goe toward him: therefore follow me,
And marke what way I make: Come good my Lord.

Scoena Secunda.

3010Enter Autolicus, and a Gentleman.

Aut. Beseech you (Sir) were you present at this Re-
Gent.1. I was by at the opening of the Farthell, heard
the old Shepheard deliuer the manner how he found it:
3015Whereupon (after a little amazednesse) we were all com-
manded out of the Chamber: onely this (me thought) I
heard the Shepheard say, he found the Child.
Aut. I would most gladly know the issue of it.
Gent.1. I make a broken deliuerie of the Businesse;
3020but the changes I perceiued in the King, and Camillo, were
very Notes of admiration: they seem'd almost, with sta-
ring on one another, to teare the Cases of their Eyes.
There was speech in their dumbnesse, Language in their
very gesture: they look'd as they had heard of a World
3025ransom'd, or one destroyed: a notable passion of Won-
der appeared in them: but the wisest beholder, that knew
no more but seeing, could not say, if th' importance were
Ioy, or Sorrow; but in the extremitie of the one, it must
needs be. Enter another Gentleman.
3030Here comes a Gentleman, that happily knowes more:
The Newes, Rogero.
Gent.2. Nothing but Bon-fires: the Oracle is fulfill'd:
the Kings Daughter is found: such a deale of wonder is
broken out within this houre, that Ballad-makers cannot
3035be able to expresse it. Enter another Gentleman.
Here comes the Lady Paulina's Steward, hee can deliuer
you more. How goes it now (Sir.) This Newes (which
is call'd true) is so like an old Tale, that the veritie of it is
in strong suspition: Ha's the King found his Heire?
3040Gent.3. Most true, if euer Truth were pregnant by
Circumstance: That which you heare, you'le sweare
you see, there is such vnitie in the proofes. The Mantle
of Queene Hermiones: her Iewell about the Neck of it:
the Letters of Antigonus found with it, which they know
3045to be his Character: the Maiestie of the Creature, in re-
semblance of the Mother: the Affection of Noblenesse,
which Nature shewes aboue her Breeding, and many o-
ther Euidences, proclayme her, with all certaintie, to be
the Kings Daughter. Did you see the meeting of the
3050two Kings?
Gent.2. No.
Gent.3. Then haue you lost a Sight which was to bee
seene, cannot bee spoken of. There might you haue be-
held one Ioy crowne another, so and in such manner, that
3055it seem'd Sorrow wept to take leaue of them: for their
Ioy waded in teares. There was casting vp of Eyes, hol-
ding vp of Hands, with Countenance of such distraction,
that they were to be knowne by Garment, not by Fauor.